Sunday, October 04, 2009

Weekend Assignment #287: On the Move

This slightly delayed Weekend Assignment is a companion to last week's, inspired by the fact that I spent many hours today helping a friend move. And we're not done yet!

Weekend Assignment: #287: Do you tend to settle in one place and stay there, or do circumstances or inclination dictate that you move fairly often across the street or across the country? Do you feel you've found your "forever" locale, if not your "forever" home?

Extra Credit: To the best of your recollection, how many times in your life have you moved?

When I was four years old, my family moved from York Road in DeWitt, NY to a newly-built house on Fayetteville-Manlius Rd in nearby Manlius, NY. That was in May, 1961. I lived in that house until 1976. That's when my parents' marriage broke up, and I moved into a dorm on the Syracuse University campus, specifically Haven Hall.

I moved at least once within Haven Hall that semester. My roommate, Monica, objected to the buildup of tissues when I was in bed with a severe case of a killer flu, and wanted to room with a friend instead. She asked me to move, so I did. I ended up living in a double all by myself, which kind of made up for the social discomfort of being rejected. I think the next year I had a single, which was a bit smaller, obviously.

In the summer of 1976, I helped my mom move to Cape Canaveral, Florida, and then to pick out a condo in Satellite Beach south of the Cape. My dad married Ruth and moved to Nob Hill apartments, which was my legal residence for a time. I only really lived there for the first half of the summer of 1977, during which I worked as an enumerator, sort of a private census taker for R.L. Polk, which published the City Directory. The second half of that summer, I lived for six weeks in a dorm at Michigan State, where I attended the Clarion Writer's Workshop and began the process of falling in love with fellow Clarionite John Blocher.

For 1977-8 school year I roomed with Evelyn in the Vincent Apartments, which belonged to the University at the time. The complex had a great labyrinthine basement connecting the buildings, perfect for "live" D&D campaigns. John and I lived with his friend Kal on 13th Ave. in Columbus, OH for the summer of 1978. My job that summer was at a variety store called Monkeys Retreat. No, really.

My senior year at Syracuse University, I finally lived off campus, in a rooming house on Westcott Street. It belonged to an old boyfriend of mine, but he was in the process of selling it when a judge condemned the place in a fit of pique. There was also a fire, the Sunday morning near the beginning of Spring Break.

We got married in May, 1979 and moved to King Ave. in Columbus, a place where the basement could not be relieved of the smell of cat pee. I consequently was miserable all summer with allergies. From there we made our way back to 13th Ave, next door to Kal this time. We were there for seven years. Stability at last!

At the end of January, 1986, we put everything in storage and drove around the country, looking for some place where it wasn't winter. We considered moving to Gallup or Albuquerque, but ended up in Tucson instead. John negotiated the terms of our first-ever home mortgage over the pay phone at Gilbert Rey Campground. That was for the house of Grannen Road.

But John was trying to make a living as a writer-editor-publisher, and after a year of doing the same I ended up renting out videos for $3.75 an hour before going on to travel agent school. The money ran out, and we had to sell the house on Grannen. We then lived for a year in a big house on the far east side, another year in a place so small and depressing I called the The Shoebox, and I think a year and a half in a semidetached condo on Estes Lane. Shortly after landing a bookkeeping job with Worldwide Travel in April, 1993, we bought a house on Calle Mumble, later to be called Casa Blocher, the Museum of the Weird. That's where we still live, 16 1/2 years later. Is it our forever home? I kind of hope not, but it may be.

So what does that add up to? 17, I think, but I may be missing one of the dorm moves. But notice that it includes three long stretches of stability, broken up by two nomadic periods. All in all, if the place I'm living isn't too small or too smelly, I'd rather stay put!

How about you? Are you a nomad or a homebody, or had that status varied with circumstances? Tell us about it in your blog, and don't forget to leave a comment below. Guidelines are after the wrap-up of last week's topic:

For Weekend Assignment #286: Far Away, I asked about places you've never been and would like to visit. Here are excerpts from the responses:

Julie says...
I'd love to visit parts of Asia. In particular, the Taj Mahal in India and the Great Wall of China. I want to return to England someday.

Florinda says...
I really don't have big ambitions to see the world, which is pretty sad when I think about it. There are a few European countries I'd like to visit some day - Italy, Switzerland, England - but if I never get there I don't think I'll have any lasting regrets over it.

Mike says...

I've been trying to think about the number one place I want to go. For some reason I've been having trouble coming up with the numero uno place. For a while it was Hawaii, but we went there about nine years ago. Then it was Australia, but not so much anymore. I still want to go, but I'm not looking forward to two days traveling. That is a long time in an airplane.

Here are the guidelines if you'd like to participate in the Weekend Assignment:
  1. Please post your entry no later than Friday, October 9th at 6 PM. (You can also post your response in the comments thread, but a blog entry is better. )
  2. Please mention the Weekend Assignment in your blog post, and include a link back to this entry.
  3. Please come back here after you've posted, and leave a link to your entry in the comments below.
  4. Visiting other participants' entries is strongly encouraged!
  5. I'm always looking for topic ideas. Please email me at mavarin2 on if there's a Weekend Assignment theme you'd like to see. If I use your idea, you will be credited as that week's "guest professor."
I have much to say about my activities this weekend, but that's a story for another time.



Florinda said...

Looks like I moved pretty fast on this one!

barrettmanor said...

Nothing more boring than someone who doesn't move around, but here you go: